OKCPS Celebrates Student Athletes With Character Awards

Wednesday, October 15th 2014, 11:38 pm
By: News 9

When we hear about students getting awards, it's typically for good grades or attendance, but Oklahoma City Public Schools now has a new program to award student athletes based on their character.

When the chips are down for the girls' volleyball team at U.S. Grant High School, they can count on at least one teammate to stay alert.

“I'm always trying to do my best in every game, even if it's really hard,” Alertness award winner and sophomore Erika Hernandez said.

Hernandez said she's quick and anticipates her opponent's moves but never expected to get this -- the C3 Award for Character, Commitment and Consistency.

“I felt so proud of myself, like I started crying,” Hernandez said.

The school gives out eight different character awards for each sport every season.

“It's brought a lot of excitement to our program. We're seeing a big change in attitudes with our kids,” said U.S. Grant High School Athletic Director Kandy Hunt. “Now, each kid is trying to get that C3, you know there's only eight of them.”

This week's word was determination.

Head Coach Jennifer Douglas said it wasn't easy deciding, but she selected Ana Fraire.

Fraire, too, wasn't expecting this award.

“It's usually like your grades or like your skills, and this is like something that comes with from within,” Fraire, the Determination award winner, said.

Within, Fraire knows she has what it takes.

“Just to keep going and to like never let, if someone's feeling down, then to just come pick them back up and give them encouraging words,” Fraire said.

At the end of the school year, each character award winner goes onto a ballot to become the School Athlete of the Year.